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Saturday, 10 October 1998


Dear Young People of America,

A most affectionate greeting to all young Americans! On the occasion of the First Continental Youth Meeting which is taking place on the theme: “The Holy Spirit will reveal all things to you”, I greet you most cordially from Rome. How I would like to have been in Santiago de Chile! Since it was not possible, I sent you the Cardinal Secretary of State as my Legate. And I would now like to be with you in spirit and express to you the firm hope I have in you so that Jesus Christ may be better known, better loved and better proclaimed in America.

This second year of preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. I would now like to remind you how Jesus, led by the Spirit, went to the synagogue of Nazareth. As he read from the Bible, he came across a passage from the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” (Lk 4:17-19). Those listening to him were astonished when he said: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). Today this Word has been fulfilled as well. The Holy Spirit wants to descend upon each one of you, as a new Pentecost, so that you will continue to carry out your mission as disciples of Christ.

Dear young people, let yourselves be guided by the Spirit of the Lord so that you may extend a hand to those who long for a different way of life! Do not be afraid! I know that your hearts are pounding with a deep desire for service to your neighbour and for solidarity. May America be a continent of brothers and sisters, equal in dignity, esteem and opportunities!

Young Americans, the Pope invites you to take the lead in the history of the third millennium. From one end of the continent to the other, may many young people rise up, who, with the example of the many American saints and blesseds, will be prepared to leave everything for the love of Christ, to follow him as missionaries of the Gospel. This is the day and the moment to say yes to Jesus Christ and to build with him the new history of America!

I entrust this Continental Youth Meeting to the Virgin Mary, who is invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness and Empress of America. To her I entrust you all, so that she will open her heart to you, full of motherly love and missionary zeal.

I now extend a particular greeting to the young people of Chile who, with the help of their Pastors and the local authorities, have worthily prepared this important meeting in San- tiago. I again express my sincere affection to you all and give you my Apostolic Blessing: in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


 © Copyright 1998 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana